It has taken Bob Dylan until now to issue his taped lecture, which cites Buddy Holly as an influence.
Bob Dylan had until June 10 to deliver the lecture or forfeit the prize money.
He mentioned three influential books – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Homer’s The Odyssey and Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front – in his lecture.
Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, wrote in a blog post: “The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent. Now that the lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close.”
Bob Dylan said: “If I was to go back to the dawning of it all, I guess I’d have to start with Buddy Holly… He was the archetype. Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be.”
The singer said he “had to travel a hundred miles to get to see him play” and “wasn’t disappointed”.
Image source Wikipedia
Describing the encounter, Bob Dylan said Buddy Holly “was powerful and electrifying and had a commanding presence”.
“Out of the blue, the most uncanny thing happened. He looked me right straight dead in the eye, and he transmitted something. Something I didn’t know what. And it gave me the chills.
“It was a day or two after that that his plane went down… somebody handed me a Leadbelly record with the song Cottonfields on it. And that record changed my life right then and there.”
This lead Bob Dylan on to other Leadbelly artists including Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, the New Lost City Ramblers and Jean Ritchie.
“By listening to all the early folk artists and singing the songs yourself, you pick up the vernacular. You internalize it.”
Bob Dylan then went on to talk about his literary influences: “Specific books that have stuck with me ever since I read them way back in grammar school – I want to tell you about three of them: Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front and The Odyssey.”
The musician described Moby Dick as “a fascinating book, a book that’s filled with scenes of high drama and dramatic dialogue”.
“All Quiet on the Western Front is a horror story. This is a book where you lose your childhood, your faith in a meaningful world, and your concern for individuals.
“The Odyssey is a great book whose themes have worked its way into the ballads of a lot of songwriters: Homeward Bound, Green, Green Grass of Home, Home on the Range, and my songs as well,” Bob Dylan said.
He also spoke about the meaning in songs, saying: “If a song moves you, that’s all that’s important. I don’t have to know what a song means. I’ve written all kinds of things into my songs. And I’m not going to worry about it – what it all means.”
Bob Dylan concluded: “Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page.
“And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, <<Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story>>.”
Chile has opened a new investigation into the death in 1973 of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda.
Government spokesman Francisco Ugas said there were indications that Pablo Neruda could have been poisoned.
Tests on Pablo Neruda’s exhumed body in 2013 found no trace of poison but more will now be done. His death certificate says he died of prostate cancer.
Pablo Neruda died 12 days after the military coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power.
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Although he was best known for his poetry, Pablo Neruda was a lifelong member of Chile’s Communist Party, a lawmaker and a former ambassador to France.
Pablo Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.
New forensic tests on Pablo Neruda’s remains will be looking for inorganic or heavy metals to try to determine a direct or indirect cause of death, officials said.
The investigation will focus on detecting if chemical agents caused any cellular or protein damage.
The previous tests looked specifically for the remains of poison.
“There is initial evidence that he was poisoned and in that sense the signs point to the intervention of specific agents,” Francisco Ugas, who is head of the government’s humans rights department, said.
Pablo Neruda’s body was exhumed in April 2013 to establish whether he died of poisoning, as his driver Manuel Araya and others suspected.
Manuel Araya said Pablo Neruda, who was 69, had called him from hospital in Santiago, and told him he was feeling sick after having been given an injection in the stomach.
Some believe Pablo Neruda was poisoned because he was a staunch supporter of deposed President Salvador Allende and it was believed he would become a leader of opposition to the dictatorship.